Decades ago in rural Estonia, children (supposedly) had each their own hazel and they would pee under it. When the harvest came they would compete whose hazel bush yielded more nuts.

“I had to try this out!” was my immediate reaction when I first heard this story.

My experiment began in late winter by clearing the surroundings of two young hazel bushes near our community house. I trimmed all the plants that were pushing their sprouts and branches into the hazels’ crowns. I cut down a few bushes in their vicinity.

To ensure a better yield, I cut a few of the weaker branches to leave each hazel with 8-12 stronger ones. Throughout the spring and the summer, I kept removing thin long hazel shoots that keep growing at the center of the bush. This ensures less energy being spent on the young leaves and more energy going into fruits.

At the heart of the experiment was urine. I collected my own pee and poured it approximately twice a week around each of the hazel bushes. Occasionally I gave them a larger dose of 10 liters of urine each from our community urine container.

Yesterday, as I was trimming the grass around the house, I noticed a few hazelnuts on the ground. I checked them on the bushes and saw that nuts are already loose in their involucres, so this morning I collected them.

This is the first time that we had a decent yield from our two hazels. In the past, I could only find a few small nuts and many empty ones. This year I collected 1.6 kg of hazelnuts (including the shells), so there should be around 1 kg of kernels.

I’ll keep my urine-to-nuts experiment going for a few years to fine-tune it. I hope the yield will keep increasing! And I hope this will inspire others to the alchemy of turning their urine into nuts too. 😉

There in the right corner next to our summer kitchen is the smaller of the two hazels